Going to college can be an expensive move, but for many individuals, it is absolutely essential in order to ensure that they can achieve their personal career goals. Many career opportunities require a college degree, either at undergraduate or graduate level. If you’re heading off to college this year, it’s not unusual to be a bit worried about how you’re going to manage your money. Along with thinking about college tuition fees, you also have to make sure that you have enough money to afford somewhere to live and to feed and clothe yourself at the very least whilst studying. With this in mind, we’ve put together some of the top budgeting tips for students.
Save on Commuting Costs by Studying Online
If you’re choosing not to live on campus when you attend college, you might want to consider studying online for all or some of your course. Online courses are becoming more and more popular, and the fact that they can be done from home with a laptop and internet connection is a highly attractive option for students who would otherwise have to spend a lot of money on gas or public transport fees in order to get to class. With a range of degrees available online from business degrees to a masters in public health online, this is definitely a viable option no matter your career goals.
Living on Campus
If you’re planning to live on campus or at least want to be as close to classes as possible, make sure that you don’t get ripped off by opting for the first accommodation option that is offered to you. College-provided housing can often be the most expensive, so it’s a good idea to have a look around for cheaper lodgings. Don’t be fooled into thinking that sharing a room with another student in college-owned housing is the cheapest option! You may be able to find a private house, shared with other students and with your own private room at the same price or even better by researching early.
Most students plan to work part time whilst they study, and college towns and cities often have a range of great part time job opportunities which are suitable for students, for example working as a server, in a grocery store or at a mall. However, the last thing that you want is for work to interfere with your studies, so doing some research on financial aid before you start your course is a good idea. Financial aid is available to students who have a range of situations, whether you’re returning to college as an adult or are from a low-income family. If you’re planning to study online rather than in a classroom-based environment, you may also be eligible for financial aid depending on your personal situation.
Budgeting as a student is never an easy task, especially as most students will have a lot to pay for but on a small income. However, by being smart and doing your research to find the cheapest options, you can get through college without spending more than you have to.